Paul Adrian COSSUM, 24/09/1952 to 06/07/2017.
One of the most eminent cricketers to have ever played with the University of Tasmania Cricket Club, Paul Cossum, passed away last month at the age of 64 following a more than five year battle with cancer.
Known affectionately within the Club as “PC”, Paul was a true legend of the 1970s decade, helping the Club to win its first two TCA First Grade Premierships in 1974-75 and 1977-78.
As well as his outstanding grade cricket performances, Paul played in 3-day and 1-day intervarsity matches, home and away, was awarded a Half-Blue for selection in the Tasmanian Colts team, then a Full-Blue for selection in the Combined Australian Universities X1 against the visiting Oxford-Cambridge University team in 1978, and served on the Committee of TUCC, including a year as President in 1980-81.
For his outstanding services to the Club, both as a player and an administrator, Paul was awarded Life membership in 1983.
Off the field, Paul completed a BSc in 1977, then an MPhar in 1980 before completing a PhD in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in 1984. He moved to the USA with his young family where he lived for the rest of his life achieving considerable corporate success as a leading researcher and innovator in the fields of biotechnology and pharmacy. At the time of his death he was Executive Vice-President R&D of ESSA Pharmaceuticals based in Houston, Texas.
Like most of the players of that era, Paul came to the club as a full time university student in 1972, having started his cricketing career at North Hobart. After a few matches in Second Grade Paul was promoted to First Grade and, seizing the opportunity, went on to win not only the Club’s but the TCA’s First Grade bowling trophy with 29 wickets at an average of 13.14. Not bad for a 20 year old in his first full season!
The following year he again won the Club’s First Grade bowling with 33 wickets at 14.73, finishing equal fifth in the TCA averages, and by the time he retired from playing with the Club, despite interruptions due to pursuing his academic studies, he had bowled 2,347 overs, conceded 6,332 runs and taken 309 wickets at the excellent average of 20.49 for the Club. He was only the third player in the Club’s history to reach the 300 wicket mark, following Jim Braithwaite and Ray Brown.
Paul was a key player in both of the Club’s first two First Grade premierships. In the 1974-75 premiership he took 2-19 from 9 overs in helping to dismiss Clarence for a mere 62 in its first innings (Ray Brown 8-5-9-4, Graeme Mansfield 9.4-3-19-4) and in the 1977-78 premiership had first innings figures of 15.4-2-47-2 (Ray Brown 14-2-24-5, Roger Clemons 18-6-49-3), again against Clarence.
Throughout his life, Paul maintained a keen interest in the Club and its achievements, even to the extent of flying home from America with his wife Joanna to attend the 30th anniversary reunion dinner of the 1974-75 premiership in February 2005.
Possessed of a sharp mind and a keen sense of humour, Paul in many ways embodied the true spirit of the University of Tasmania Cricket Club. He will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.